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Wallmonkeys Peel and Stick Wall Decals - Wagon Wheel - 24"H x 18"W Removable Graphic
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"The Irish Jaunting Car" - 1860s Carte de Visite Photograph
This carte de visite is one from my personal collection. The photograph was taken sometime in the 1860s by James Magill of Donegall Place in Belfast. So far, I have not been able to find out much about James Magill other than the fact that he was also a bookseller.
The subject of this original antique photograph is the famous "Irish Jaunting Car" of verse and song. The photo was taken in front of a brick livery stable. If you look at the window on the far right, you can see a man in a white shirt. What appears to be a horse collar is hanging up behind him.
The detail of the photograph is exceptional, showing not only the construction of the jaunting car, but also the fashions of the day, as well as the construction of the brick livery stable. You can even see where a pane of glass over the door has been broken out.
The horse seems to be a fairly good one and appears to be well cared for at first glance, as his coat is shiney. However, when the image is viewed on the largest size, what appear to be scars from old injuries cover his legs. The wonderful detail of his collar and harness is also visible on the largest size.
It is evident that the man holding the horse moved slightly when the picture was taken, for his face is blurred; however, the features of everyone else in the protograph are clear and expressive. The dapper driver appears to be quite the character. By the way, the driver of a jaunting car was known as a "jarvey." (Mark that down in case you ever get on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?")
Volume V05, Page 297 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica tell us:
From Ireland comes the "jaunting-car," which is in general use, both in the towns, where it is the commonest public carriage for hire, and in the country districts, where it is employed to carry the mails and for the use of tourists. The gentry and more well-to-do farmers also use it as a private carriage in all parts of Ireland.
The genuine Irish jaunting-car is a two-wheeled vehicle constructed to carry four persons besides the driver. In the centre, at right angles to the axle, is a "well" about 18 in. deep, used for carrying parcels or small lage and covered with a lid which is usually furnished with a cushion. The "well" provides a low back to each of the two seats, which are in the form of wings placed over each wheel, with foot boards hanging outside the wheel on hinges, so that when not in use they can be turned up over the seats, thus reducing the width of the car (sometimes very necessary in the narrow country roads) and protecting the seats from the weather.
The passengers on each side sit with their backs to each other, with the "well" between them. The driver sits on a movable box seat, or "dicky," a few inches high, placed across the head of the "well," with a footboard to which there is usually no splash-board attached.
A more modern form of the jaunting car, known as a "long car," chiefly used for tourists, is a four-wheeled vehicle constructed on the same plan, which accommodates as many as eight or ten passengers on each side, and two in addition on a high box-seat beside the driver. In the city of Cork a carriage known as an "inside car" is in common use. It is a two-wheeled covered carriage in which the passengers sit face to face as in a wagonette.
In a roundabout way, "The Irish Jaunting Car" made an appearance in the American Civil War in the form of a famous song. Harry Macarthy, an Ulster born entertainer who billed himself as "The Arkansas Comedian," wrote a set of rousing verses patriotic in theme for the Confederacy and set them to the tune of an earlier song called "The Irish Jaunting Car" by Valentine Vousden, an Irish vaudeville performer. Vousden's song was published sometime in the 1850s. Macarthy entitled his version "The Bonnie Blue Flag" (in reference to the first unofficial flag of the Confederacy), and it was first published in 1861 by A. E. Blackmar and Brother of New Orleans.
It's easy to find the words and music for "The Bonnie Blue Flag," but finding them for Vousden's earlier song is not. I came across many, many poems and songs about Irish Jaunting Cars, but only two stanzas from I believe to be Vousden's original verses after several hours of searching on the internet.
My name is Larry Doolan, I'm a native of the soil,
If you want a day's 'divarshin' I'll dhrive you out in style,
My car is painted red and green, and on the well a star,
And the Pride of Dublin City is my 'Irish Jaunting Car'!
If you want to drive round Dublin shure you'll find me on the stand
I'll take you to Raheny to pick cockles on the Strand,
I'll take you to the Phoenix Park, to Nancy Hands and then
I'll take you to the strawberry beds and back
A Room For the Worms
I grew up in the Wild, Wild West of America; or at least what's left of it. Most days, I would saddle up my fiery, bay horse and we would gallop up and over the hill behind my house and spend the rest of the day exploring in the desert, literally not seeing a soul, road, house or sign of human life for hours and miles. The reality of farm life allowed me plenty of opportunity to develop a autonomous, confident self, who made things alone and if she failed, there was no one to blame but herself. I was an American girl, growing up without connection or perception of a past, only a present and a future of my choosing.
We lived in a trailer for most of the childhood I can actually remember. It was a small trailer to begin, then one day we bought a bigger trailer and the old one was rolled away. We knew where our trailer was placed after it left our property. I recall driving by it every so often, my parents would point and chuckle as my sister and I pressed our face to the window glass, gazing at what was once our home. It sat on the side of a barren hill, looking tiny and opaque, giving up no hints about the lives it housed currently.
The town I grew up in was incorporated in 1904, barely 80 years later I would be born. In history class we learned about the Indians that lived on the land for hundreds of years before Lewis and Clark arrived and after that, we shut our books and looked up to the current times. For me, my home and land were young, a near-white canvas that imagination and hard work would paint. From growing up in a house with wheels to living in a state with a mere 100 years of history, the thought of Europe, with all its recorded history, was an intriguing entity that called my name loud and clear for as long as I can remember.
My huge obsession with Europe fueled my decision to live in Italy for a year. Living there I had one unrealistic experience after another. Vintage wine-filled afternoon with Counts in Palaces, rides through Mugello on a shiny red motorcycles, picking olives in the early Tuscan fog, horse rides through the woods and the one I am writing about today: a trip to a empty villa, complete with a Byzantine Silk factory.
This day my friend and her boyfriend, knowing my passion for photo safari's took me out in the countryside near Pisa to visit a family estate. I hopped in the car as I did most of my mornings in Florence, a little confused as to where we were going or what we were doing (blame it on the Italian as a second language) but confident I would have the absolute best day of my life. And so it started, me staring wide-eyed, like a child out the window taking in the intricate beauty of Italy. We arrived late morning and parked in a gravel lot, walked across the street and unlocked a large gate. As we pushed the gate open it groaned a supernatural welcome into the interior silent paradise so layered with voices from centuries gone by, my ears were ringing in seconds and my imagination began to paint hypothetical situations in rapid iterations.
When I enter dream-like real life scenarios I often hold my breath, but I also hold my breath when I am shooting. Needless to say I spent the next two hours intermittently gasping for air, sending blood shooting into my forehead, rocking me back and forth as I readjusted my eyes and stance. As my hosts coolly gave me the grand tour and answered my silly questions, I shot furiously, vowing to capture the unreal scene forever on film.
The villa was situated next to a silk factory. The factory, now empty, with nature creeping from every angle, was Byzantine style architecture, which seemed to cut Italy's tender sky, so used to gentle arches and domes. Huge rooms, echoing in their emptiness, once held worms that produced fabric for the wealthy. Next to the factory were the servants quarters, long since over taken by trees and vines which filled the space once filled with countless generations of life.
Behind the villa overgrown gardens twisted around ponds and sculptures leading to a cavernous "lemon storage" structure. Entering the domed building, the ceiling covered in terra-cotta tile, I snapped my way to the back where a dark passage pulled me in as far as I dared to move through the darkness. Next a proportional, but small, personal church stood ornately in the woods. Leaving me wondering about the loneliness inherit in these self-sustained enclosed communities of medieval Italy.
Finally we were ready to enter the villa. While it was mostly empty in each room a small treasure and glimpse into the past sat serenely in the dim light, covered in a fine dust. Some rooms there were grand curtains, dingy and fading, still proudly doing their job of blocking out the world from pouring through the windows. Other rooms storm shutters were strewn across the floor, unable to withstand the storm of passing time. The main rooms seemed filled with life to me, layered with centuries of parties, dinners, int
vintage wheel horse parts
3-2-1, blast off! The Radio Flyer Retro Rocket features vibrating motor action so it really feels like you're taking off. Working lights and realistic astronaut/space sounds add to the fun. The rolling wheels activate the lights and sounds, and there's also a light-up after-burner, a clicking nose cone, and cool retro styling. Under-the-seat storage allows budding astronauts to pack a few essentials. Plastic. Cleanwith soap and water. Some assembly required.
The Retro Rocket Features:
3-2-1 Blast off feature puts kids "in the driver seat"
Realistic astronaut and space sounds
Clicking nose cone
Cool retro styling
Holds up to 45 pounds. Measures 27"L x 11.5"W x 11.5"H. Adult supervision recommended.
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